It’s a long one- hope you’re ready.
A little late for a transformation Tuesday.. but… I think this would count.
My, how things have changed.
Changed for the better.
Change I had no idea was coming.
Change I had no idea I needed.
It’s hard to believe that about a year ago, I was finishing up one of the hardest years of my college career (it’s up there in life honestly). Back then, I still measured years as in a school term- so 2013-2014 to be exact- wait… I still measure years that way.
That summer alone, I had “lost” my job- something I would rather not get into…. I had just had my first endo appointment with my new care team which I had found out that I was right- something had been wrong with me. I had been sick, but at this point- I was starting to get better.
That summer I was also unable to volunteer somewhere because I was put into a tricky situation regarding my Diabetes, and I did not feel safe.
That spring semester, our apartment had flooded because GA got below 9 degrees and the emergency sprinkler system was not insulated. GA was in a state of emergency because of this (this was shortly followed by “Snow Jam” in Atlanta). The fall semester was one of the hardest of my college career.
The people in my life were changing, for various reasons. I had had Diabetes Burnout, on the extreme side, for most of the school year.
Yeah… it had definitely been a year… but I scraped by… I feel stronger for it.
So now to get into the meat of this- On Friday, July 31, I fly back down to GA so that on August 1, I can head to volunteer at Camp Kudzu, my favorite place (yes- better than Disney) on earth to be reunited with the people that are my family. I’m so excited to return to my favorite place- and yes I do feel lucky (we know how I feel about that word- but I will go with luck) that I’m going. As I get ready and start packing so I don’t wait until last minute, go me. As I finish my costume for the Music Party (Disney themed- wait- it’s a surprise- kind of). I cannot help but think about where I was a year ago- specifically regarding where I was heading next and my mindset.
The previous spring I had toured several law schools. I had spent about 6 months preparing for the LSAT and I took it in June of 2014- I actually left camp for the day to take it. I did okay- enough to get into the law schools I wanted to get into, but not enough for merit based aid- I had needs based covered- but I knew I really needed merit as well- and I needed slightly higher to meet this goal of mine. The idea of still being sick and studying for the LSAT again, stressed me out (I hadn’t even received my ADHD/Anxiety/OCD Diagnosis yet- might I add). But I was going to trudge along because this was my dream, right? I had been telling people law school since I was 14. I had already had to defend my career path for years, I wasn’t about to change my mind.
So I kept going, throughout the summer- I completed my calendar for law school application openings and deadlines. I wrote my personal statement and statement of diversity. I had my recommendation letters lined up. I had my resume ready to go. I had my top law school lists ready to go. I knew my plans for application fee waivers. I was ready to go, or was I?
Something in the back of mind was speaking to the pit of my stomach- a slight whisper– law school, right after graduation… are we sure? Aren’t we burned out with school already? You’re still sick… can you handle your responsibilities you already have plus law school applications… will it make things worse… will you be going into this at the best of your ability? And… the one that freaked me out the most… do we even need it?
I was still sick. I was still stressed. I was still recovering from Diabetes Burnout. I was trudging along with a smile on my face saying I was ready to apply to Law School. I was dead set- I had to go straight into it because of time and insurance. I had to be perfect for aid. I had to go because Law School was the only way to do what I wanted to do (my- how I was “wrong”). (Where was the statement of I still want to go?)
These thoughts were rattling around in my mind all summer. I barely said anything to anyone. I was scared to say it out loud. The few moments I had mentioned it to a few people… I got backlash… ( where was the support?) Now, I’m pretty sure that either- I was telling the wrong people or a few people were a little shocked by my statements (but poker face please).
Some of the things that I heard that summer (and for the rest of the year). You’re giving up on your dream. Way to quit. Why are you changing your mind? What was the social work degree for? What will you do? Why change your mind now?
The only things I would like to comment on… I did not quit. I did not change my dream. I changed my paths AND my views regarding myself on getting there.
Then… about a year ago… during session 3 of camp in 2014…. I officially decided law school would not be happening (this year specifically… but maybe not ever). It hit me one evening at camp- a combination of things led up to this.
My emotions were mixed… I did cry- not sure what kind of tears still- the evening I made up my mind.
I love my plans. I don’t like changing deadlines or what I was planning. I don’t like changing my mind. I have to prove people wrong. What the heck was I going to do- I did not have career backup plans.
But then. Something happened. I could feel the weight lifted off my shoulders. Besides the moment of what’s next… I had a sense of calm wash over me.
Camp was the right place to make this decision. Because when I spoke my plans out loud- there was support surrounding me. My family supported me, yet again.
I, of course, immediately emailed CDN because they felt like the right place/people to start with helping me figure out what the heck I was going to do next. And of course- I was slightly freaking out over my new decision. And they were there for me.
After The Campus Tour: A Diabetes Perspective– I had a huge realization- one of the biggest AHA moments of my life- I could do what I wanted to do without a law degree…. I am 99% convinced that the majority of the reason I was set on law school and decided that path was because of confidence, well a lack of it. I wanted to advocacy and make change… and I thought the only way I could accomplish that was with a law degree. I didn’t believe in myself enough to think I could take another path.
But, I don’t “need” it, at least right now. (maybe law school later… maybe not… maybe grad school- WHO KNOWS). But believing in myself was definitely a key factor in all of this decision. Last October after the Campus Tour, was the first time I felt TRULY confident in my decision to not apply to law school that semester. (I’ve had more moments since then!) I struggle with confidence and to believe in myself- anyone who knows me knows I struggle with confidence and being the center of attention- I’m consistently working on this though- I feel I’ve made a lot of change here but I have a ways to go.
I do recognize that people are trying to convince me to have more confidence. I also recognize that a few people did bring up that maybe I shouldn’t go to law school yet before I started thinking it myself- I’m very stubborn, but I also didn’t think I had other options.
And here I am a year later- following a new path to my dreams- at 22 (what?)
I’ve been wanting to live in a city since I can remember (when I could say the words and I understood the concept)- and here I am in Boston.
I wanted to start fresh- here I am- new home.
I wanted to make a difference and work in the diabetes community- I feel like I am doing advocacy and empowerment and working with and interacting with amazing people. and here I am, loving my job.
So… it’s hard to believe that a year ago- I was still sick. Planning on applying to law school despite my reservations. And that I didn’t believe I could could chase my dreams without a law degree. Looks like I am.
Hey you! Yes, you!
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